Since late June Hauptmann von Kornatzki’s II./JG 52 have been deployed along Germany’s North Sea coastal belt, during which time it has been able to claim two RAF Blenheim IVs off the Friesian Islands.
It joins Major von Bernegg's Geschwaderstab (based at Le Touquet) on the Channel coast.
Intended to cover the withdrawal of bombers attacking a convoy in the Thames Estuary they cross over Dover and proceed north over Kent. Reaching the estuary they encounter a Squadron of Spitfires (54 Sqn. or 65 Sqn.). In the clash off Margate four Bf 109s are shot down. Among the casualties are Gruppenkommandeur Wolf-Heinrich von Houwald and two of his Staffelkapitäne, Oberleutnants Herbert Fermer and Lothar Ehrlich (of 7. and 8./JG 52 respectively). Only one of the three Spitfires claimed was confirmed.
- Uffz J Zwernemann (7/JG 52): Spitfire north-east Margate
- Uffz E Rossmann (7/JG 52): Spitfire north-east Margate (disallowed)
- Lt J Keidel (7/JG 52): Spitfire north-east Margate (disallowed)
Attacked by 610 Sqn. (Spitfires) which come out of the clouds they lose four more Bf 109s.
Three disappear into the Channel are Oberleutnant Willy Bielefeld - the interim Staffelführer of 7./JG 52, Fermer’s designated replacement Oberleutnant Wilhelm Keidel and Ltn Hans Schmidt of Stab III./JG 52.
8./JG 52's Unteroffizier Max Reiss' Bf 109 E-1 6 + ~ takes a hit to the radiator and about twenty bullet strikes to the fuselage and starboard wing. He makes a good forced landing at Elvington Court, Deal.
7./JG 52 Unteroffizier Edmund Rossmann's claim for a French Breguet Bre 690 east of Margate is disallowed.
In 24 hours III./JG 52 has lost its Gruppenkommandeur and the equivalent of four Staffelkapitäne.
- Uffz Bernhard Braun (8/JG 52): Hurricane
- Uffz Karl Steffen (9/JG 52): Spitfire
Under acting-Kommandeur Hauptmann Wilhelm Ensslen the Gruppe is withdrawn to Leeuwarden, and subsequently from there back to Zerbst to recuperate and resume its homeland defence role.
After III. Gruppe's departure three days' earlier, I Gruppe lead by Hauptmann von Eschwege arrives from Bönninghardt. Throughout the previous month they had been engaged in defence of the Reich duties under the control of JG 77.